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    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Heavy Impact (3/17/16): And The New

    My apologies for not having a Heavy Impact last week, if you were looking for it. It was just one of those busy days where I never got the chance to catch Impact Wrestling on time, and by the time I was able to it was too late to write anything about it. The good thing about Heavy Impact is that it's based on a show fewer fans get to watch, so there's a little leeway for me to exploit. Trust, however, that I will do my best to catch the show and write about it as timely as I can.


    Say, that briefcase looks familiar...

    By now you must have already heard: Drew Galloway is your new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

    The former Drew O'Mac cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase for the title shot after what was a serviceable Triple Threat match turned into a veritable schmozz. I never got to see last week's episode, but by the end of the night the main event for the world title ended up being such a mess: first, the returning Jeff Hardy was added to what was originally Matt Hardy vs. EC3, then Eric Young and Bram (the guys who put Jeff out of commission) ran in and fucked Jeff's shit up, then Rockstar Spud and Tyrus (on Team Matt) ran in and fucked EC3's shit up, and when that didn't work, "The Miracle" Mike Bennett ran in and eventually threw EC3 into the crowd, causing the match to end in a no-contest. Then Drew came down and cashed in.

    What a mess, right? Can you say overbooked?

    TNA's Impact Wrestling-based calendar structure kind of makes it hard to take big happenings on TV seriously, but I kind of have to give them props for putting in the effort. It's probably just something I still have to get used to; I'm wondering why I'm okay with this structure being passable in a show like Lucha Underground or even NXT, but not Impact. Perhaps it's the knowledge that TNA used to have monthly PPVs.

    That said, I don't know if Drew Galloway's biggest championship reign so far should have come like this. Never mind that it was on a random (but live, so completely unspoiled) episode of Impact, but I felt like he deserved better than a clusterfuck. On one hand, he was the feel-good ending of the night, which helps him, but on the other, it was just so easy. The jury's still out on whether this'll be good, because then again it's the reign that makes the champion and not the victory.

    (Also, who else thinks the Money in the Bank briefcase is starting to become an overused trope? It's already sort of jumped the shark in WWE, and other promotions using it isn't helping matters. At least Lucha Underground put an honorable twist to it by forcing the holder to wait a week, but otherwise the plot device is so misused, in my opinion. Babyfaces don't look good circling champions like vultures. I believe a face briefcase holder should always challenge ahead of time and should only be opportunistic if they're turning heel in the process.)

    Also, a spot of trivia: Vince McMahon once touted a "newly-signed" Drew McIntyre, the Chosen One, as a "future world champion." Funny how that came true--just not for his company. (You know for sure that they'll be playing for him again once he becomes a free agent someday.)

    A quick look at the new storylines that were borne out of this match:

    • Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway is obviously the next program, and I just wish we saw Drew winning the title after an extended feud. Cash the shot in for a future date, have Matt win questionably, force Drew to chase it a bit, and have him finally win in super-dramatic fashion. Either way, this rehash of their WWE feud from back in 2009 should be fun now that Drew is much better as Galloway than he was McIntyre.
    • Because they were the ones who took him out, it seems Eric Young/Bram vs. Jeff Hardy is still going on. While this doesn't have that much heat to it (in my opinion) I guess it was a good thing that they kept the inevitable Matt vs. Jeff feud from happening too soon. Matt/Jeff is a feud we've seen over and over, but I'm interested to see it now that Matt is a heel main eventer.
    • It looks like we're getting Mike Bennett vs. EC3 coming out of this, and that's a matchup I'm highly interested in. Right now EC3 vs. Matt/Tyrus/Spud is a little played out, and Bennett/EC3 is a fresh matchup we've never seen before. It's got the potential to steal the show from the upper midcard.

    Minor impacts

    • Other than the stories with main event implications, everything else felt a little boring.
    • Bennett and Maria vs. Galloway and Gail Kim wasn't anything particularly exciting, and things just started to get more fun for the men when they got involved in the main event.
    • Lashley's promo was particularly brutal. Like even more dreadful than the stuff Roman Reigns is usually made to say. If that was all ad-libbed, somebody should feed him some better talking points.
    • Grado vs. Eli Drake was a little more compelling, but Eli feels like a mid-2000s cookie-cutter WWE midcarder. He can talk some, but he doesn't seem too fascinating as the antagonist keeping the underdog Grado from his TNA contract.
    • On that note, Billy Corgan feels like an unconvincing authority figure.
    • Who even thinks Decay is cool?
    Did you catch Impact Wrestling? What did you think, if you did? Let's (try) to talk about it in the comments!

    Photo from TNA


    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul.

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    Item Reviewed: Heavy Impact (3/17/16): And The New Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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